Bow Fishing, Rifle Caching, and Essential Skills

I am starting on new weekly column on Survival Cache this week called Saturday Links. It is a small collection of links to the best survival articles I found this week.

1. First up, Scott, at BugOutSurvival.com wrote a great article on Bow Fishing. A food gathering option that I have never considered before but definitely sounds interesting. Reading the article, Scott makes it sounds really easy, but I am guessing there is a pretty good learning curve.  I would also recommend an emergency fishing kit in your Bug Out Bag from Forge Survival Supply.

USA Berkey Filters

Bow Fishing: An Effective Means of Food Gathering

2. Next is an awesome video posted over at Accept the Challenge on ways to protect things like rifles for long term storage in a survival cache. The video goes through the whole process with a rifle. Very cool and surprisingly cheap (unless you are adding up your time to get the supplies and make it) – we have found a more professional way to Cache rifles with the Master Cacher Vault System.  (Best part, all of the anti-humidity bags and products included, turn key)

Caching: Rifles

3. Finally, a good list post by The Survival Mom about essential survival skills. This will be good for newer survivalists, but I also enjoyed it because it makes you think about something just as important as your survival gear: your survival skills, something I think is undervalued in the survivalist community.

10 Essential Skills Necessary for Survival

Image Credit: juandao

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20 thoughts on “Bow Fishing, Rifle Caching, and Essential Skills”

  1. ok, since theres nothing hardly about fishing in the fishing blog, here goes. you should have an assortment of trtaps, fish baskets and snares, they can get you some kibbles while you're chasing other kibbles , think of them as force multipliers, fishing line will age and get brittle but wire baskets and snares will last much longer.

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  2. Probably the most important overlooked survival or even daily life skill that has made my life a little easier is knot tying. Most folks don't realize how knowing a few simple knots can make things much easier. Back when I used to be in boy scouts and helped with SAR, the most basic knots I would tell/show people how to use are the BOWLINE, SHEEP-SHANK, SQUARE and BASIC FISHERMAN. With these 4 knots you can rig a make-shift pack, lower/lift someone to safety, tie a fishing hook or make snares. If you want to learn them or want a reference to put in your BOB, the "Boy Scout Field Manual" is a great option and contains info on just about anything you can think of for facing the great outdoors.

    ABOUT BOW-FISHING…. I used to do it YEARS ago on the Great Lakes, it is MUCH, MUCH harder than most folks think and requires a special rig. I have a Fred Bear 45lb. re-curve that is outfitted with a reel, its fun, but again it takes A LOT of practice to make this a viable way of gathering food (and even then it's kind of "iffy"). When you are bow-fishing there are a TON of variables that affect your chance of success including seasons, water conditions, lighting and even lunar phases can make a difference.

    Rastus McGee makes a good point, using snares, traps and other devices to work for you is a great idea for increasing your chances of gathering food. Another thing they will help with is keeping your mind/hands busy, from my experience in the outdoors the biggest battle you fight, once you are established in an area (some traps ect. are just not practacle while on the move) is boredom.

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  3. bow fishing works well, but what about regular bow hunting? i deer and boar hunt with bows. bows are silent, and pretty deadly. firing them wont attract attention, which can be huge in a shtf scenario.

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  4. I’m not very good with a standard bow at any range , but admire those that are . I personally like the idea of a bow as its very effective , and silent ! Because of my lack of skill with a standard bow , I went with a crossbow ( they are illegal in some states ……NAZI’S ! ) My main reason was stated above , they are easy to use . If you can shoot a rifle , you can learn to shoot a crossbow accurately in a very short amount of time . They dont have the range of a standard bow , but bolts are easier to carry and for most small game , quite up for the task . They also can be operated laying down !

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    • Cross-bows generally provide you with more range than a standard bow, or even a compound bow. Of course this depends on the type of cross-bow you have. My Uncle hunts with a Horton (not sure which model), he can consistently hit a target 120yds out, and gets about 4-4.5" penetration into hay bales. My compound on the other hand, is only good to a MAX of 60yds, on a good day! I have seen him take a deer at 95yds with his cross-bow, at that range the bolt went almost completely through, the only thing holding the bolt in was the last few inches of shaft, fetching and nock.

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  5. One historical thing I would like to add about the use of a bow as self defense . A barbed war arrow is very nasty and effective . More people died from the damage that was caused trying to get the darn thing OUT than the actual damage of the arrow . And many a trapper or soldier opted to take their chances with leaving a piece of it in . Our ancestors can teach us much , even if its not pleasant reading .

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  6. No disagreement but a question. I've seen video of bow hunting – it seems that although the bow is an effective hunting weapon, it rarely results (in the videos at least) in a 'clean' kill, at least as most gun hunters would describe it. A 50 to 100 yard run doesn't seem unusual. Is this your experience. I also am nervous about the complexity of a compound bow. I tend to think a long bow would be a better survival weapon than a compound bow, but I am writing from my ignorance here, not knowledge. I would value your opinion.

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    • I grew up using a Fred Bear re-curve bow, with a 45-lb draw. I took down my first deer with it when I was 12. It is a VERY effective hunting tool, and it has a light enough *thump* at the other end that it works for small game as well.
      I currently have/use a 55lb draw Fred Bear compound bow, it has enough power to drop a black bear, white-tail deer, black-tail deer, even wild boar/feral pigs. The compound bow is a great tool, but the downfall is that it takes MUCH more maintenance compared to the re-curve (most of which should be done by a qualified bowsmith).

      It is true that you are less likely to get the "quick drop" you see sometimes with a firearm. However there have been times where I have seen deer shot straight through the heart and still run a good ways. My Uncle and I were hunting one day in the mountains of PA, we jumped a deer, which oddly enough started running towards us. My Uncle shot it right in the chest with a 12ga 3.5" Magnum 000 buck shell, from about 40', the shot sent the deer to the ground (after a back-flip). It then got up and ran about 150yds across the field to the other tree line where my cousin spooked it back towards us. It got to about 5' from where it was shot and dropped dead. When we field dressed the deer, we noticed that it's heard had been split completely in 1/2, it was held together by a small piece of muscle on the backside. Point being, if the deer is juiced on adrenaline no matter how "clean" the shot, or what you shoot it with, it may still take off and force you to track it quite a ways!

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      • Thank you for the input. I guess the 14 second rule for humans applies to animals as well (it takes about 14 seconds from the time the heart stops to the time the brain stops). I'm too much of a novice to trust myself to maintain a compound bow after TSHTF. Do you have an opinion on a good re-curve bow. You mentioned Fred Bear as your first bow. It seems like it might be a pretty good one. As to the big uglies (bear, big cat, wild pig), they are why I ALWAYS carry a suitably sized hand gun in the woods so that is less of a concern than being able to harvest deer and smaller sized game if needed.

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        • I LOVE my Fred Bear re-curve, I have had it for 21years (man I sound old!). I don't think they are produced anymore, but you may be able to find a used one with a little investigation. Re-curves are much more powerful than a traditional long-bow, the Mongols used a "compound re-curve" (it was considered compound because they used different materials such as antler, wood, glue, sinew and resin) which gave their bows the ability to penetrate just about any armor of their day, which is part of what made them so successful in warfare.

          I am the same when it comes to carrying a side-arm. I carry a .45 M1911 loaded with alternating Hornady TAP and Federal FMJ rounds whenever I bow hunt, and whenever I hunt the mountains. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries swears that there are no cougars in VA anymore, but I have seen them from a distance and seen some pretty big cat-tracks (4.5" across the pad and bigger) where I hunt. I also have seen some pretty big black bears (350+lbs) fairly regularly. I don't like "playing the odds", I would rather have my pistol and never need it, than need it and not have it!

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          • I feel sorry for mountain lions , They stay away from people as much as possible , no need to shoot em , not enough of them around to be a threat to people . Bears on the other hand …… well the only GOOD bear is a DEAD bear . Rather see those go extinct . Wouldn’t miss coyotes much either . I shoot those out of principle and leave em . Vultures gotta eat too 😉

          • I can respect mountain loins as hunters but dont know about not shooting them.

            bears are bottom feeding, garbage eating, you know whats. hate 'em.

          • The mountain men swore that Mountain lions were the best eating there was. I don't know, never tried it and I like the way the big cats look – I wouldn't hesitate to take one in self defense or for food if needed.

          • Had to kill a cougar after he killed one of my llamas. Muscles on himwere pretty scay looking when I skinned him. Had to roast it about four times longer than for beef. No fat on him, and was delicious!

  7. I have bow fished quite a few times in colorado. It is harder than rod and reel fishing but I found it quite easy to learn. Bow fishing really only works where the water level is low, so you see the fish and not lose your arrow if you miss or the fish takes off with it in them. Of more importance though is that Colorado, and many states, bow fishing is illlegal except for carp. In a survival situation I would not care, but ordinary fishing casting is easier, legal, and you can fish more water.

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  8. Fishing, trapping or snares is great b/c you do not expend as much energy as killing a large animal. Killing a deer with a bow will result in the animal running off a fair distance, you dragging it back, some time to properly clean (even with poacher cuts), and then the meat needs to be washed and cooked.

    A small animal or fish can be eated over a small fire at the time of capture with minimal effort.

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  9. I don't understand why anyone would hate a bear or coyote, yes, they are predators and scavengers, but so are we, all children of Mother Nature, shaped by evolution! Wolves have been both revered and demonized by man for centuries but they are an essential part of the cycle of life; we humans are the only ones dumb enough to think we are above and/or separate from the food chain, tell it to the beetles and worms! Have you ever see a skinned bear; they are amazing close to human bodies! I have shoulder problems so a bow isn't an option for me, but crossbows (always 'legal' in a survival situation) are like rifles – easy to shoot. Someone makes an crossbow adapter for the AR platform, not cheap, but neither is the AR. As well, there are arrow-shooting guns that use compressed air or CO2 as propellant! Most fishes smaller than 6 inches are pan fryers, don't need to be cleaned, just throughly cooked, as all meat should be! A pistol crossbow works at close distance for fishing and is quite compact! Carp isn't very tasty but better than nothing, clean throughly and clean again! Good Luck!

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